Eleven lives lost

Carrying an EPIRB helps rescuers with location finding Carrying an EPIRB helps rescuers with location finding

Eleven people who drowned in 2018 might be alive today had they been wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid.

That’s the finding of this year’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency Casualty Review Panel that has reviewed 22 fatalities from 2018.

The figure is slightly lower than last year’s figure of 13 lives out of 27 fatalities.

In the 12 years that the Panel has been meeting, is has recorded that 200 lives could have been saved by wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid that was correctly fitted.

The majority of incidents last year involved commercial fishermen - including accidents at fish farms - and anglers, many of which happened in Scottish sea lochs.

One yachtsman died because he was wearing a lifejacket that was not properly fitted, had ridden up and was not keeping his head above water.

Together with wearing a lifejacket, the Panel also recommended other ways to keep safe near and on water including carrying a VHF DSC radio and knowing how to use it and carrying a PLB or EPIRB to help rescuers to locate a casualty.

In addition, downloading the RYA SafeTrx app and using it in an emergency could make a difference.

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